Single Letter

HAM/1/3/2/9

Letter from Sarah Dickenson to Mary Hamilton

Diplomatic Text


Jany 8th 1803.

My dear Sister,
                             I had intended writing
this morning to my dear Louisa, but as I find
my Father has anticipated my design I will
send her a long letter the first opportunity
& addreʃs this to you. -- We are much obliged
to you for a very fine Pheasant, we propose to
invite Mr & Mrs Robinson to partake of it, for as they
are our best friends in this neighbourhood,
I am convinced you will have pleasure in ------
knowing they will join us in doing honor to
to your acceptable gift. As, agreeable to your wishes
I burnt your last letter; perhaps I shall not be
very accurate in answering it; indeed the
subject is so exquisitely painful, that I shall
not easily be tempted again to enter upon it.
I am sorry it is not in my power to subscribe
implicitly to your advice; the measure
you recommend woud if adopted, woud be at
-tended
with so many difficulties & uneasineʃs
es
for which I coud not give a sufficient reason,



that I have neither resolution or courage to adopt
it, besides, I cannot help thinking it woud be
laying a mine, & probably facilitate an evil
we must all most anxiously wish to prevent.
You must my dear sister be sensible that in this
affair I wish to be guided by the best motives,
& to follow that path in which there is the least
apparent danger; and after weighing this subject
with the most careful attention I am thorough
-ly
persuaded that time or accident must
make the changes we so fervently wish for.
As poʃsitive assistance is vain, where we
have no right to controul, I believe to bear
this affliction patiently is the best method to con
sult
my own comfort or tranquility of mind.
I find the weight of my distreʃs abated by
sometimes conversing with my very excellent
freind Mr: Robinson on this subject; I feel
often relieved by opening my mind to a person
who has my interest sincerely at heart; & I am
not now so much oppreʃsed as when I thought
it neceʃsary to conceal every circumstance with
the most persevering watchfulneʃs. I will



own I am a little piqued at the reason your friend
has given for declining to visit me -- surely my
character woud protect her from contamination if she was to condescend
to breathe the tainted air at Birch Hall sometimes,
My society is now courted by women equally
tender of their reputation, & as unsullied in
their principles, as herself & I cannot help adding I think
her excuse whimsical, ridiculous, weak; & altogether
unworthy of a woman of sense or of feeling.
What woud become of me at the time I want
the greatest support, if every one was to be equally
fastidious? -- Now I know you will say this
is the overflowing of Sarah's impetuosity
but I aʃsure you [I] am not in a paʃsion; my observa[tions]
are the result of cool reflection, & temperate
anger. -- I do not think I have ever told you
that I am comfortably fixd with women ser-
-vants
; but all system & regularity has been
forgotten during the agitating search after
the papers, but I intend now, to be more attentive
to household affairs, & if I do not execute them,
I shall begin the new year with many good
resolutions. I think if my B- was to propose



to propose
to my Father to sign the leases he grantd
to his tenants, that he woud be much pleased.
You know I never recommend any measure that
does not tend to your advantage, or the peace
of the family. -- I am anxious to hear from
Elizabeth, she was in a very discontented
state when I last heard from her. a Gen-
tleman
has sent me a little dog, & Mrs


Homespun has behaved so well on the occasion
that she has soften'd my heart a little. I beg you
will give my love to my B. my sweet saucy
niece whom I intend to rival in notability, & Miʃs
M- Compts to Miʃs Martin. I remain your affct
                             sister
S D[1]


Mr R[2] is to take this letter to the
office as I dare not trust it in
common hands. I mean to get
green doors to our rooms to prevent
listeners. I have no [tim]e to read this
letter over so you m[ust have] it with all its
faults.[3]

To
Mrs: Dickenson
Leighton House
Leighton Buzzard
                             Bedfordshire[4]

(hover over blue text or annotations for clarification;
red text is normalised and/or unformatted in other panel)


Notes


 1. This section appears at bottom of p.3 below the address when unfolded, written upside down.
 2. Possibly the man mentioned in HAM/1/3/2/10.
 3. Moved postscript here from right side of address panel in centre of p.3 when unfolded, written vertically.
 4. Moved address panel here from centre of p.3 when unfolded, written vertically.

Normalised Text


January 8th 1803.

My dear Sister,
                             I had intended writing
this morning to my dear Louisa, but as I find
my Father has anticipated my design I will
send her a long letter the first opportunity
& address this to you. -- We are much obliged
to you for a very fine Pheasant, we propose to
invite Mr & Mrs Robinson to partake of it, for as they
are our best friends in this neighbourhood,
I am convinced you will have pleasure in
knowing they will join us in doing honor to
your acceptable gift. As, agreeable to your wishes
I burnt your last letter; perhaps I shall not be
very accurate in answering it; indeed the
subject is so exquisitely painful, that I shall
not easily be tempted again to enter upon it.
I am sorry it is not in my power to subscribe
implicitly to your advice; the measure
you recommend would if adopted, be attended
with so many difficulties & uneasineses
for which I could not give a sufficient reason,



that I have neither resolution or courage to adopt
it, besides, I cannot help thinking it would be
laying a mine, & probably facilitate an evil
we must all most anxiously wish to prevent.
You must my dear sister be sensible that in this
affair I wish to be guided by the best motives,
& to follow that path in which there is the least
apparent danger; and after weighing this subject
with the most careful attention I am thoroughly
persuaded that time or accident must
make the changes we so fervently wish for.
As positive assistance is vain, where we
have no right to control, I believe to bear
this affliction patiently is the best method to consult
my own comfort or tranquility of mind.
I find the weight of my distress abated by
sometimes conversing with my very excellent
friend Mr: Robinson on this subject; I feel
relieved by opening my mind to a person
who has my interest sincerely at heart; & I am
not now so much oppressed as when I thought
it necessary to conceal every circumstance with
the most persevering watchfulness. I will



own I am a little piqued at the reason your friend
has given for declining to visit me -- surely my
character would protect her from contamination if she was to condescend
to breathe the tainted air at Birch Hall sometimes,
My society is now courted by women equally
tender of their reputation, & as unsullied in
their principles, as herself & I cannot help adding I think
her excuse whimsical, ridiculous, weak; & altogether
unworthy of a woman of sense or of feeling.
What would become of me at the time I want
the greatest support, if every one was to be equally
fastidious? -- Now I know you will say this
is the overflowing of Sarah's impetuosity
but I assure you I am not in a passion; my observations
are the result of cool reflection, & temperate
anger. -- I do not think I have ever told you
that I am comfortably fixed with women servants
; but all system & regularity has been
forgotten during the agitating search after
the papers, but I intend now, to be more attentive
to household affairs, & if I do not execute them,
I shall begin the new year with many good
resolutions. I think if my Brother was to propose



to my Father to sign the leases he granted
to his tenants, that he would be much pleased.
You know I never recommend any measure that
does not tend to your advantage, or the peace
of the family. -- I am anxious to hear from
Elizabeth, she was in a very discontented
state when I last heard from her. a Gentleman
has sent me a little dog, & Mrs


Homespun has behaved so well on the occasion
that she has soften'd my heart a little. I beg you
will give my love to my Brother my sweet saucy
niece whom I intend to rival in notability, & Miss
M- Compliments to Miss Martin. I remain your affectionate
                             sister
Sarah Dickenson


Mr Robinson is to take this letter to the
office as I dare not trust it in
common hands. I mean to get
green doors to our rooms to prevent
listeners. I have no time to read this
letter over so you must have it with all its
faults.

To
Mrs: Dickenson
Leighton House
Leighton Buzzard
                             Bedfordshire

(consult diplomatic text or XML for annotations, deletions, clarifications,
quotations,
spellings, uncorrected forms, split words, abbreviations, formatting)



 1. This section appears at bottom of p.3 below the address when unfolded, written upside down.
 2. Possibly the man mentioned in HAM/1/3/2/10.
 3. Moved postscript here from right side of address panel in centre of p.3 when unfolded, written vertically.
 4. Moved address panel here from centre of p.3 when unfolded, written vertically.

Metadata

Library References

Repository: The John Rylands Library, University of Manchester

Archive: Mary Hamilton Papers

Item title: Letter from Sarah Dickenson to Mary Hamilton

Shelfmark: HAM/1/3/2/9

Correspondence Details

Author: Sarah Dickenson

Place sent: unknown

Addressee: Mary Hamilton

Place received: Leighton Buzzard, Beds.

Date sent: 8 January 1803

Letter Description

Summary: Letter from Sarah Dickenson to Mary Hamilton. Dickenson had hoped to write to Hamilton's daughter Louisa that morning but her father has 'anticipated her design' and she will write her a long letter soon and write now to Hamilton instead. The letter relates to general news on servants and on her father signing leases to be granted to his tenants.
    Original reference No. 21.
   

Length: 1 sheet, 743 words

Transliteration Information

Editorial declaration: First edited in the project 'Image to Text' (David Denison & Nuria Yáñez-Bouza, 2013-2019), now incorporated in the project 'Unlocking the Mary Hamilton Papers' (Hannah Barker, Sophie Coulombeau, David Denison, Tino Oudesluijs, Cassandra Ulph, Christine Wallis & Nuria Yáñez-Bouza, 2019-2022).

All quotation marks are retained in the text and are represented by appropriate Unicode characters. Words split across two lines may have a hyphen on the first, the second or both fragments (reco-|ver, imperfect|-ly, satisfacti-|-on); or a double hyphen (pur=|port, dan|=ger, qua=|=litys); or none (respect|ing). Any point in abbreviations with superscripted letter(s) is placed last, regardless of relative left-right orientation in the original. Thus, Mrs. or Mrs may occur, but M.rs or Mr.s do not.

Acknowledgements: XML version: Research Assistant funding in 2014/15 and 2015/16 provided by the Department of Linguistics and English Language, University of Manchester.

Research assistant: Donald Alasdair Morrison, undergraduate student, University of Manchester

Research assistant: Carla Seabra-Dacosta, MA student, University of Vigo

Transliterator: Donald Alasdair Morrison (submitted November 2014)

Cataloguer: Lisa Crawley, Archivist, The John Rylands Library

Cataloguer: John Hodgson, Head of Special Collections, The John Rylands Library

Copyright: Transcriptions, notes and TEI/XML © the editors

Revision date: 13 April 2020

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